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People profile
Michael Blau

President, Themed Entertainment Association


In November, Adirondack Studios principal Michael Blau was officially installed as the new International Board President of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

Part of the organisation for a number of years, Blau was first elected to the TEA Eastern North America Division, where he served for three years as VP of the Eastern Division Board followed by three years on the TEA International Board. Most recently as vice president.

According to Blau – who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and Technical Design from Syracuse University and has a theatre background – his approach to themed entertainment comes “through the lens of theatre”.

“Theatre requires knowledge of many crafts and trades,” he explains. “From scenic arts to sound design, stage management to performing, all working toward creating an art piece that is financially sound but most importantly engages an audience toward an experience they have never had before.”

Adirondack Studios focuses on design in story and guest experience. Joining in 2003 and taking up his current position in November 2017, Blau leads the business side of the company, helping to produce immersive and one-of-a-kind experiences through existing client relationships, growth in targeted markets and new business ventures.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate in the experiences and especially the mentors that have helped guide my education and career,” he says. “Lessons in business success came from working with my father who started a successful business that was brilliant at serving clients, and from the founding owners and my current partners at Adirondack Studios who taught me to always deliver what you say you will, then exceed those expectations.”

Expanding horizons
Blau takes up his presidency with the TEA already performing strongly.

“Two areas in which TEA particularly excels: educating our members and providing unique opportunities for members to network,” he says. “Many great project teams – and great projects – have emerged from these opportunities. These activities also have a positive influence on the industry at large by improving dialogue, celebrating excellence and facilitating the exchange of information, wisdom and best practices. We do this with a wide range of events from regional mixers to global conferences, participation in trade forums and with various resources such as the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index and through our video archive.”

While things are running smoothly at TEA headquarters, Blau would like to see it expand its reach even further: “Our board members and staff continually look for innovative ways to better serve our community, and as such, the TEA will continue to expand its education and networking opportunities for its members.”

Business is booming
The themed entertainment industry is currently enjoying a boom period, with immersion the trend on everyone’s lips. For the TEA’s members, this means significant growth in many areas.

“Creators, producers and developers around the world long for unique life-changing experiences,” says Blau.

“This is a desire with a long history but today our industry has new ways to fulfil it – a sophistication through technology, storytelling and design has developed. In simple terms, the importance of telling a compelling story at a campfire still has potency, but now it can be enhanced and elevated toward greater audience and visitor engagement. We know more and better ways to engage people. Doing so leads to greater expectations and knowledge around the world. As the themed entertainment sector expands, it fosters new innovation and perspectives from different cultures and regions.”

With themed entertainment and the attractions industry, in general, enjoying this strong period, it’s an exciting time for the TEA: “Innovation is extending to many new venues and markets that are logical extensions to our industry,” says Blau.

“Our Thea Award-honoured projects continue to illustrate outstanding achievement. The process of creating unique experiences in which audiences can become emotionally engaged is changing around the world. I fall back to my theatre career where the important goal was to have an audience leap into a story emotionally. That engagement excites me when I see it in any project and I enjoy seeing a new project that builds upon the last great one.”

Blau succeeds Main Street Design’s Michael Mercadante, who set a solid foundation and established important pillars of the strategy for the TEA, while acting as its president.

“Michael has done a terrific job in getting the TEA to better understand its role in the industry and the world by establishing clear strategies toward even better service,” says Blau speaking of his predecessor. “We’ll build upon those principles to serve our members better.”

Blau succeeds Michael Mercadante of Main Street Design
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
People profile
Michael Blau

President, Themed Entertainment Association


In November, Adirondack Studios principal Michael Blau was officially installed as the new International Board President of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

Part of the organisation for a number of years, Blau was first elected to the TEA Eastern North America Division, where he served for three years as VP of the Eastern Division Board followed by three years on the TEA International Board. Most recently as vice president.

According to Blau – who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and Technical Design from Syracuse University and has a theatre background – his approach to themed entertainment comes “through the lens of theatre”.

“Theatre requires knowledge of many crafts and trades,” he explains. “From scenic arts to sound design, stage management to performing, all working toward creating an art piece that is financially sound but most importantly engages an audience toward an experience they have never had before.”

Adirondack Studios focuses on design in story and guest experience. Joining in 2003 and taking up his current position in November 2017, Blau leads the business side of the company, helping to produce immersive and one-of-a-kind experiences through existing client relationships, growth in targeted markets and new business ventures.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate in the experiences and especially the mentors that have helped guide my education and career,” he says. “Lessons in business success came from working with my father who started a successful business that was brilliant at serving clients, and from the founding owners and my current partners at Adirondack Studios who taught me to always deliver what you say you will, then exceed those expectations.”

Expanding horizons
Blau takes up his presidency with the TEA already performing strongly.

“Two areas in which TEA particularly excels: educating our members and providing unique opportunities for members to network,” he says. “Many great project teams – and great projects – have emerged from these opportunities. These activities also have a positive influence on the industry at large by improving dialogue, celebrating excellence and facilitating the exchange of information, wisdom and best practices. We do this with a wide range of events from regional mixers to global conferences, participation in trade forums and with various resources such as the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index and through our video archive.”

While things are running smoothly at TEA headquarters, Blau would like to see it expand its reach even further: “Our board members and staff continually look for innovative ways to better serve our community, and as such, the TEA will continue to expand its education and networking opportunities for its members.”

Business is booming
The themed entertainment industry is currently enjoying a boom period, with immersion the trend on everyone’s lips. For the TEA’s members, this means significant growth in many areas.

“Creators, producers and developers around the world long for unique life-changing experiences,” says Blau.

“This is a desire with a long history but today our industry has new ways to fulfil it – a sophistication through technology, storytelling and design has developed. In simple terms, the importance of telling a compelling story at a campfire still has potency, but now it can be enhanced and elevated toward greater audience and visitor engagement. We know more and better ways to engage people. Doing so leads to greater expectations and knowledge around the world. As the themed entertainment sector expands, it fosters new innovation and perspectives from different cultures and regions.”

With themed entertainment and the attractions industry, in general, enjoying this strong period, it’s an exciting time for the TEA: “Innovation is extending to many new venues and markets that are logical extensions to our industry,” says Blau.

“Our Thea Award-honoured projects continue to illustrate outstanding achievement. The process of creating unique experiences in which audiences can become emotionally engaged is changing around the world. I fall back to my theatre career where the important goal was to have an audience leap into a story emotionally. That engagement excites me when I see it in any project and I enjoy seeing a new project that builds upon the last great one.”

Blau succeeds Main Street Design’s Michael Mercadante, who set a solid foundation and established important pillars of the strategy for the TEA, while acting as its president.

“Michael has done a terrific job in getting the TEA to better understand its role in the industry and the world by establishing clear strategies toward even better service,” says Blau speaking of his predecessor. “We’ll build upon those principles to serve our members better.”

Blau succeeds Michael Mercadante of Main Street Design
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CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

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Vrtual,
01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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